ELVIS – ?"Starburst"

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Elvis performed at Russwood Park, Memphis, Tennessee on July 4, 1956. 

Photographer Alfred Wertheimer was located on stage. He was immortalizing those days in the life of Elvis and he took, by chance, a surprising photo of one of the most mythical performances of Elvis’s career, for what that show meant for American society in the 50s. 

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The photo is known as “Starburst“. 

A lucky accident caused another photographer’s flash bulb to go off in the crowd at the same moment Wertheimer’s camera shutter was released, creating a magnificent jet of backlight.

 “Even though the flashes were going off constantly during the performance, I knew they wouldn’t affect my still shots. Except for one…

 When I developed the film, I discovered a shot of Elvis with a gorgeous stream of light in front of him. Not loud enough to reach the stage, but the flash in the audience also highlighted the back of about thirty rows of heads.

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 That random flash was in perfect sync with my shutter opening… 

When I saw that photograph, it was a beautiful experience for me. I could not believe it. It was better than anything I had done before or would do after! 

Instead of ruining the photo, this unexpected moment of luck gave me a beautiful ”Starburst”… (A burst of starlight).

 –Alfred Wertheimer

A photo for eternity… 

Information provided by  ELVIS The Boy From Tupelo.

 Rosa Garcia Mora.



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